Just a summary of our season so far now we have reached Christmas and the halfway point.
The squad we have is still very much the same as we started the season, along with a few faces that have come and gone, and a few have stayed and improved us too. The latest being Chris Churchman, a ball playing midfielder from Bamber Bridge, and Ryan Ellison and George West have joined on loan from Stockport County.
It would be wrong of me to single out any individuals for praise purely because our strength has been our unity. The lads are all improving, some at different speeds to others, but ultimately they are moving forward collectively.
We have had a few highs already, and I don't feel like we’ve had any real lows as I feel our defeats have been part of the learning curve for everybody. Like you I find them frustrating because we have often given the games away from winning positions and that would have had us top of the league comfortably, but that's football and it's what I expected from young players, it’s part of their development.
But I feel the lads are learning and improving their game management as we have seen in the last 6 weeks or so. We’ve had some fantastic performances beating Scarborough and Ramsbottom 3 and 4 nil respectively, and we have had some solid wins away at Burscough, Ossett Town, and Droylsden where we have shown real character.
But I guess our best performance was beating Bamber Bridge 4-1 away when they were absolutely flying, and I still don't think they have recovered after the way we beat them.
I believe the whole club should be very proud of where we are. We are 3 points of the top of the league and competing with all the big spenders and are giving our all to be in and around these teams come the end of the season.
We have a strong youth set up and this has been seen with Adam Bolton (16), Brad Knox (17) and a whole host of other lads around 18 and 19 being given opportunities in the first team. We have an excellent group of players and brilliant coaching staff whom I'm extremely proud of. We stand as leaders in the fairplay league in our division and second in the technical area which I see as a big pat on the back for the club showing we can be competitive on and off the field, whilst representing the club in the correct way.
I would also like to thank Anne and the board for their continued support in moving the club forward. The supporters have also been magnificent in supporting what we are trying to build here and also staying strong through the defeats. But that makes you enjoy the wins even more and appreciate seeing the team grow.
All in all I couldn't be happier with the achievements of the club as a whole so far. We need to really take a step back as a club and look at how well we are doing, but remember we are only just starting. Let's make sure we all stick together and keep pulling in the same direction as it needs everybody to build a successful football club.
Wishing everybody a prosperous New Year.
Updated 13:26 - 11 Jan 2017 by Michael Barker